“CITY OF 140+ LANGUAGES” – BBC TRAVEL GIVES A BOOST TO TORONTO TOURISM, JULY 31/2017

BBC Travel (with over 3,000,000 fans on Facebook) gives TORONTO a glowing writeup in an article by Lindsey Galloway. “Growing at a clip of more than 100,000 new residents a year, Canada’s largest city keeps getting larger. But the continued population boom hasn’t changed TORONTO’s character,” writes Ms. Galloway.

“A big part of TORONTO’s character comes through its many cultural neighbourhoods, which include Little India (6km east of the city centre), Little Italy (3km west), Portugal Village (3km south-west), Greektown (8km north-east), and Chinatown (2km east), the largest outside San Francisco.

“While residents agree that the city is expensive compared to the rest of Canada, they also say it’s still much more affordable than other big global cities. The 2017 Cost of Living Index by the Economist Intelligence Unit ranked TORONTO at 86 of 133 cities, well behind New York, London and even Mexico City.”

Read the whole story at http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20170728-canadas-city-of-140-languages

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HIDDEN TORONTO #1 – SOME MEMORABLE STUFF YOU MIGHT ACCIDENTALLY STUMBLE UPON

<3rd Sunday of every month is ‘car-free, pedestrians only’ at Kensington Market – until October>

<A quicksand warning in Wychwood Park>

<Mug shots at the Toronto Police Museum, 40 College Street>

<A tunnel borer working on the 22-station Crosstown LRT and/or six new subway stations>

<Tokyo Smoke jammed between two larger buildings>

<Architectural artifacts in the Junction neighbourhood>

<Glad Day, the world’s oldest LGBTQ bookshop & cafe, 499 Church Street>

<Detail of the Casa Loma Conservatory ceiling on a coin from the Canadian Mint>

<De Grassi Street where the internationally famous television series began.>

<Dundas Street West Market constructed from old shipping containers>

<Native Family Services building on College Street>

<Nightime illuminations in the Pharmacy Building, University of Toronto>

HIDDEN TORONTO #2 – ALL GREAT CITIES HAVE HIDDEN TREASURES – HERE ARE SOME MORE OF OUR’S

<Gibraltar Point Lighthouse, oldest lighthouse on the Great Lakes, one of the city’s oldest buildings – PHOTO Bryan Blenkin>

<Patio House, Nortown District>

<Lobby, Danforth Music Hall>

<St. Michael’s Cemetery, off Yonge, south of St. Clair Avenue>

<TTC subway typeface, created in the 1950’s>

<Squirrel nests in the fall>

<Former home of Russian Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna, 710 Gerrard St. East>

<‘Leaves of Light’, York University>

<Timothy Eaton Memorial Church, Forest Hill>

<Artscape Young Place, a former school now devoted to the arts, Shaw Street>

<Rose Hill Park, in the heart of the city, Summerhill neighbourhood>

<Moses Znaimer’s ‘Television Museum and Archive’, Liberty Village>

<Bruce Kidd running track, Regent Park>

<Cinecycle – bicycle repair shop & occasional movie theatre, laneway off Spadina Avenue>

<Matilda Street, downtown eastside>

<The original Island Airport control tower/terminal buildiing still exits – but it’s no longer in use>

<Mural by Dan Bergeron, Evergreen Brick Works>

<Great (Law) Library, Osgoode Hall, Queen Street West>

HIDDEN TORONTO #3 – ANOTHER DOZEN OF THE CITY’S HIDDEN TREASURES

<Court House Square>

<‘Massacre of the Innocents’ by Rubens, Art Gallery of Ontario>

<Canada’s largest pipe organ – Metropolitan United Church>

<State-of-the-art Kinoton Projection Technology, Bell Lightbox>

<The PATH network’s vast underground city>

<Christie Street railway underpass>

<Highway 401 pedestrian overpass>

<Old City Hall interior – it’s now a court house>

<Coach House Press, independent book publishers, bpNichol Lane>

<A tribute to the late Glenn Gould for his love of animals – TORONTO Humane Society>

<Laneway art, off Shuter Street>

<A garden in Chinatown West>

ONE SUNDAY MORNING A SOUTHERN VISITOR LANDED ON LESLIE ST. SPIT – PHOTOS BY STEVEN EVANS

These folks were aligned along the edge of a wetland. Birdwatchers all, they were focused on a Tricoloured Heron, highly unusual in these parts. Its normal range is the southeastern part of the United States, and they seldom fly this far north.

<ABOVE – Tricoloured Heron, ANDY JOHNSON, ‘All About Birds’>

The LESLIE STREET SPIT is open to joggers, walkers and bikers every evening from 4:00 to 9pm, and all day on Saturdays, Sundays and Statutory Holidays. It’s closed Monday to Friday from 5:30am to 4:00pm.

The Leslie Street Spit, TORONTO’s ‘artificial-natural’ habitat, extends far out into Lake Ontario at the foot of Leslie Street.  It’s  getting bigger every day.  The Spit was created largely from construction excavations, and is now home to numerous wild animals, birds and butterflies.

FROM FARMLAND TO “NEW TOWN” – DON MILLS WAS A TORONTO & CANADIAN FIRST

In the midst of a housing shortage after World War II, E.P. Taylor <PHOTO ABOVE>, a powerful businessman, bought two thousand acres of farmland.

From 1995 to 1965 Taylor’s companies changed that farmland into one of the world’s most innovative “New Towns”.

Within the community – 28,000 residents, over 70 industries, one of Canada’s earliest shopping centres, schools and recreation facilities.

DON MILLS was the first land development of its kind to be planned and funded by the private sector. Neighbourhoods were isolated from heavy traffic by looping roads and culs-de-sac. Light industry was allowed on the edges. Attention was paid to everything from the buildings, their exteriors and colours. Generous green space was provided.

Much of residential DON MILLS remains as it was built. The trees have grown taller, but the houses still have that 1950-60’s Modernist look.

“THE TROUBLE WITH OAKLAND IS WHEN YOU GET THERE, THERE’S NO THERE THERE” – GERTRUDE STEIN

<Gertrude Stein by Picabia, 1933>

I wonder if Ms. Stein (1874-1946, novelist, poet, playwright) would say the same thing about the Shops at DON MILLS situated in the suburban vastness of TORONTO’s North York. Developer Cadillac-Fairview replaced a standard shopping mall here with a town centre laid out around a central square with art by Douglas Coupland. Not your typical shopping centre in these parts.

Don Mills town centre is home to 72 top-of-the-line shops, restaurants, pubs, a cinema, chocolate shop, coffee bars – and amazingly FREE parking. The streets are spotlessly clean, but the Parisian funkiness Gertrude Stein loved so much is nowhere in sight.

Year ‘round Aggie Hogg Gardens – named after a former resident, storekeeper, postmaster and the daughter of early settler John Hogg – is the centre of the Centre.

To reach Don Mills by public transit take the #54 Lawrence A or B bus eastbound from Eglinton station to The Donway. It takes about an hour.